LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Annette in North Carolina on the line who’s working on a boathouse project. Tell us about it.
ANNETTE: The deck on top of the boathouse – flat roof, has a bladder (deck). I have removed the carpet that was originally on there 10 years. Want to know what I can put back on there, on the bladder, that will do better than carpet.
LESLIE: And this is on the roof, so it’s exposed to the elements 24-7?
ANNETTE: It is a flat roof.
LESLIE: Now, a carpet – exterior carpet – is probably not the best choice, just because it does tend to wear and tear quite quickly, even though you got 10 years out of it.
TOM: Rapidly, yeah. Mm-hmm.
LESLIE: You know, it’s probably not the best choice.
Now, Tom, would you consider a composite decking material or can that not really sit directly on top of that bladder, to get that water away?
TOM: Well, actually, what I was thinking was to create a deck-like surface on top of that bladder.
LESLIE: Like a platform.
TOM: Right, a platform where the deck – you really wouldn’t have the traditional floor joists or even 2x4s. You might have a, say, 2x6 on the flat that lays flat on top of that deck. And then the deck boards sort of lay on top of that on – with 16 inches on center. So it’s kind of like just making the top surface of the deck as the wear-and-tear surface on top of that bladder.
Is there some sort of a railing system here, as well, Annette?
ANNETTE: Yes. It’s all railed. Mm-hmm.
TOM: OK. So then I would just create a composite deck that lays flat on top of that.
Now, you can’t just lay the composite decking boards on the bladder; you’ll need some way to keep them together. That’s why I said that what I might do is take a pressure-treated 2x6, lay it on the flat and use that sort of, in essence, as if it was a floor joist that you were attaching these decking boards to. And then lay the decking down on top of that.
Now, there’s also interlocking wood – and I think it’s made out of teak.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. I’ve used, actually, teak tiles like that.
TOM: Yeah, there’s teak tiles that interlock, right? Then I know – I’ve seen them; people can put them down on top of patios. I suppose you could probably also put that down on top of the roof as long as it wasn’t too soft. So any type of wood decking surface like that would be a good choice.
LESLIE: And those are interesting: the teak tiles that snap together. Do you have a Christmas tree store near you? You know those stores: it’s not really a holiday store, it’s like …
ANNETTE: No. Lowe’s is the closest to – I’m 18 miles from any town. I’m way out in the woods.
LESLIE: OK. Because there’s several different companies, actually, that sell them online. Locally, for me, I found them at one of those discount home decorating stores. But they’re 12x12 teak tiles that almost look like a parquet tile, like a floor tile? And they’re set on a plastic base and they snap together. And you can also get an edging tile to sort of complete the border and that could sit directly on top of the bladder, because it’s got the little plastic base that creates that platform.
TOM: A good website to take a look at is SwiftDeck. SwiftDeck.com is a company that sells patio deck tiles. They have Ipe tiles. It looks like they also have a composite version. So a couple of options there. Great photos. You can see exactly what this looks like, at SwiftDeck.com.
ANNETTE: Beautiful. Thank you for your help.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.